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Rock Stars and CIOs

Rock Stars and CIOs

Posted by Robert Lilley on 13 Jun 2014 09:27:48 | 0 Comments

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400 CIOs, 94 venders, 16 presentations, 2 days, one conference, far too much coffee and a HUGE desire for change.

World leading technologists from the BBC, World Health Organisation and Hyatt Hotels held the attention of the audience with stories of business transformation, lessons learnt and dragons sleighed.

It was inspirational to hear what some of our global peers have done: they are rock stars of the technology sector. Daniel Heaf, (That's Mr BBC.com) talked about how the world is consuming digital content (more on tablets, phones and phablets than TVs) and that the creation of content specifically for online consumption is growing geometrically. Beware shareholders of TV networks . . .

Jeff Semenchuck, CIO, Hyatt Corporation talked about the subtle but significant differences between men and women in hotels, and the complexities of trying to simplify the check-in experience and integrating disparate systems that look after the hotel, bookings and back office systems. By the way, 45% of all corporate stays in hotels are women, and women are different in that they don't want men delivering things to their room, would rather leave the hotel and go to a shop than ring Room Service, they don't sit in the Hotel Bar and think the bath robes are too big!

And Martin Catterall, now CIO St John NZ and formerly ITT Director of the World Health Organisation (Thats WHO for World Health Organisation not Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend.) explained how he lead the WHO into the 20th century - we look forward to watching the journey St John's is about to embark on with Martin at the helm of ICT.

But then you go back to the office, open email and BOOM, you are back in the real world.

In a private conversation, one CIO confessed that 98% of all his ICT spend went on keeping the lights on. That's 2% left for projects, continuous improvement adding value and cool stuff. Another said if it wasn't for the business wanting to do "stuff" and having other priorities he would have funds for continuous improvement and activities that "add value"… and he works for a huge NZ organisation! Best practice (can you tell I was at a CIO conference for two days?!) is 20% to 30% of total budget.

Clearly both organisations are struggling to free capex for technology based projects. These two confessors might be in extreme positions but I suspect many others are in similar situations and without adequate budget to spend… you can't invest in your ICT.

 

Please Note: The names of those making these confessions has been ommitted to protect the innocent.

 


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